The Minnesota Twins announced today that outfielder Alex Kirilloff has been named the 2018 Sherry Robertson Award winner as the Twins Minor League Player of the Year and left-handed pitcher Lewis Thorpe has been named the 2018 Jim Rantz Award winner as the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year.Kirilloff,
The Minnesota Twins announced today that outfielder Alex Kirilloff has been named the 2018 Sherry Robertson Award winner as the Twins Minor League Player of the Year and left-handed pitcher Lewis Thorpe has been named the 2018 Jim Rantz Award winner as the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Kirilloff, 20, split the season between Single-A Cedar Rapids and Single-A Ft. Myers, combining to hit .348 (178-for-512) with 44 doubles, seven triples, 20 home runs and 101 RBI in 130 games. He led all full-season minor leaguers in doubles and ranked seventh in RBI. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound outfielder was named both a Midwest League midseason and postseason All-Star and played in the SiriusXM Future's Game for Team USA at Nationals Park over the Major League Baseball All-Star break. Prior to the season he was ranked as the third-best prospect in the Twins system by Baseball America and sixth best by MLB.com.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native was selected by the Twins in the first round (15th overall) of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Plum High School in Pittsburgh. In 185 career games in the Twins minor league system, he has hit .335 (244-for-728) with 53 doubles, eight triples, 27 home runs and 134 RBI.
Thorpe, 22, split the 2018 season between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester, combining to go 8-7 with a 3.54 ERA (129.2 IP, 51 ER), 36 walks, 157 strikeouts and a .250 opponent batting average. The 6-foot-1, 218-pound pitcher appeared in the SiriusXM Future's Game for the World Team over the Major League All-Star break. He was ranked as the 15th best prospect in the Twins system by MLB.com entering last season and 16th best by Baseball America.
The Melbourne, Australia native was signed by the Twins in July of 2012. In four seasons in the Twins minor league system, he has gone 19-14 with 3.18 ERA (328.1 IP, 116 ER), 111 walks, 392 strikeouts and a .234 opponent batting average in 71 games (65 starts). Thorpe missed the 2015 and 2016 season recovering from "Tommy John" surgery on his left elbow.
The Sherry Robertson Award, named in honor of the Twins' first farm director, was established in 1970 to recognize the top Twins minor league performer each season. Since 2002, the award has recognized the Twins Minor League Player of the Year while an additional award has been created to recognize the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year. This award was named in honor of former Twins Minor League Director and Twins Hall of Famer Jim Rantz. Past winners of the Sherry Robertson Award include Butch Wynegar (1974), Kent Hrbek (1981), Gene Larkin (1986), Paul Sorrento (1989), Denny Neagle (1990), Marty Cordova (1992), LaTroy Hawkins (1993 and '94), Todd Walker (1996), David Ortiz (1997), Michael Cuddyer (2001), Joe Mauer (2003), Brian Dozier (2011), Byron Buxton (2013), Max Kepler (2015), and Mitch Garver (2017). Past winners of the Jim Rantz award include Jesse Crain (2003), Scott Baker (2004), Francisco Liriano (2005), Matt Garza (2006), Kyle Gibson (2010), José Berríos (2014 and '15), Stephen Gonsalves (2016), and Aaron Slegers (2017).
Kirilloff and Thorpe, along with the other Twins 2018 award winners, will be recognized at the 14th Annual Diamond Awards dinner, which will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2019.